New England tuna fishermen fear smaller quotas

Posted June 18, 2012, at 3:44 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Fishery managers are considering new regulatory alternatives for bluefin tuna that New England fishermen fear could result in smaller quotas for them.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been holding hearings on different options that will be developed into new regulations aimed at protecting and rebuilding tuna populations. The new regulations will go into effect in 2014.

Possible measures now being looked at focus on bluefin that are inadvertently caught and discarded by boats fishing for swordfish, yellowfin tuna and other fish from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Association says New England fishermen who catch bluefin with fishing rods or harpoons are worried their quotas could be cut to account for the dead discards.

A public hearing will be held in Portland on Tuesday.

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